Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Dailies Plus Number Four in the Celadon Suite

Celadon no.4 from The Celadon Suite


Greetings! Sorry, I missed my usual Monday posting and here Tuesday has nearly gotten away from me, but there is still a bit of time left to say hello and let you in on what's been happening here at MissouriBendStudio. Mostly, it's juggling day-to-day life filled with work at the library, time at the gym, and ducking down into the studio. In between there are some healthy meals, a few not-so-healthy, Scrabble games with my sweetie and some reading (the current reading is Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie). I've managed to finish the drawing above, no. 4 from The Celadon Suite (I thought that had a nice ring to it) before I finished no.3....which languishes on the table awaiting a fresh supply of ecru embroidery thread. There is a lot of stitching on that one and I didn't think I'd run out, but alas....I'll have it finished by the weekend. I've finally got these three finished pieces listed on my website and will list them in my MissouriBendStudio Etsy shop, as well....same price.

The dailies continue, of course. I've been sneaking a bit of the teabag back in on these and think I may very well go back to my original format, which was the artwork on a teabag in the middle of 12"x9" sheet of bristol board. I continue to chastise myself, as I continually change my mind....but I think we just have to listen to what's happening inside. I guess we'll see what the coming week brings in terms of the daily drawings! The drawings shown here are now listed over at MissouriBendMusings

January 22, 2013

January 23, 2013

January 24, 2013

January 25, 2013

January 26, 2013

January 27, 2013

January 28, 2013

My work week just started, but I'm exhausted already...so much going on. I guess that never changes, does it? Somehow I have to get back to regular blog reading too....I've missed checking in on my blogging friends to see what they've been up to. I don't think there is an easy answer for fitting it all in, but I'm working at it! Thanks for much for reading and for taking the time to comment...always so great to hear from you!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Power of Habits

January is a month of resolutions....a time we all try to exchange our not-so-good habits for ones that are more healthy. I daresay I'm no exception, but this year is different, because my husband and I are engaged in "reading" a wonderful book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business, by Charles Duhigg. I put quotations marks around the word reading, because we're actually listening to it on CD....it was a gift for him for Christmas from me. Turns out we're both enthralled with the book! It is fascinating to learn about the brain and how habits actually form, how they can be exchanged and also what powerful changes can happen in life with even small shifts in our habit loops. This is great reading if you are interested in creating new routines for yourself, but the book also broadens its scope to include the workplace and society in general, so that we can see how these same ideas play out on a larger scale.

Here's what I can say about the changes in my own life so far this year. I continue to get up at 6:00 on weekday mornings 45 minutes before we do yoga to write in my journal and make the daily drawing (see below) for my Etsy shop along with a tiny 2"x2" collage, which is a daily that I make just for me. Not everything gets finished in the time allotted, but the ritual takes place. I'm not saying it's easy to get up, but I am saying that I do it, because the reward is worth it. My days are more balanced and I feel more on top of things, because I take these small steps and I have these rituals. This isn't for everyone, I realize, but I like a rhythm to my day and these rituals have allowed me to develop just that. Johntimothy and I have also joined the Wellness Center at the University and we're actually spending time working out there several times a week. A month ago, I would have told you that there was no way I would have time for that....there just wasn't room enough in my day or in my life. But, guess what, time has a way of expanding and it turns out I do have time and I still get the things done that are important to me....it's quite interesting. As we have learned from The Power of Habit, it is really all about paying attention to your cues, to the habits that occur throughout your day and learning where your own rewards lie. Highly recommended reading....or listening! These daily drawings from this past week are now posted in my shop, MissouriBendMusings.

January 15, 2013

January 16, 2013

January 17, 2013

January 18, 2013

January 19, 2013

January 20, 2013

January 21, 2013

I think I forgot to show you this last week....the second in the Celadon series, which can be found at the MissouriBendStudio shop. I've got a third one well under way, but it will end up with a lot of sewing on it, so may not have it finished until next week. I just have a little of this green Japanese paper left, so I'd better order some more before I find myself completely distraught because I've used it all!

I do hope 2013 is bringing in a fresh spirit to your life....thanks so much for reading and sharing in my studio practice. See you soon....

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Getting Down to the Essence

"I think that most art which begins to make a statement fails to make a statement because the methods used are too schematic or artificial. I think that one wants from a painting a sense of life. The final suggestion, the final statement has to be not a deliberate statement, but a helpless statement. It has to be what you cannot avoid saying, not what you set out to say." -- Jasper Johns

This quote by Jasper Johns makes perfect sense to me. It's not a quick read, but once you digest it, I think that he is saying what I try to say over and over about getting to the essence . The real thing, the real work comes out despite you. The real works an artist makes are those things which must be made and at their core get at something essential. The process, for me, is still a kind of magic....if "I"get out of the way and let the real conversation with the work unfold. It's happening sometimes in the studio, but not always. It is a process we come to anew each time we arrive in the studio there to work. I'm always trying to get to the things that can't be said....the helpless statement....the one place where we can all meet as human beings, beyond language.

The dailies continue and they are a work in process and a reminder that I must let go and let them emerge as they will....most times I am not so happy with them, but I am honoring them for their place in the dailiness of my life. I share them here and you can find them at MissouriBendMusings

January 8, 2013

January 9, 2013

January 10, 2013

January 11, 2013

January 12, 2013

January 13, 2013

January 14, 2013

This, I am happier about....it's another development beyond the Notes To The Ancestors, but more simplified and refined and on a lovely, delicate green Japanese paper. Well, actually, I can't be sure this is Japanese paper, but it is green and it is an Asian handmade paper. Drawn, then dipped in beeswax and hand stitched, this is no. 1 in the Celadon Drawings...

The title link below the piece will take you to MissouriBendStudio where two of the drawings in the series are listed. Okay, I've probably overloaded you by now....see you soon and enjoy the rest of your week! Cheers!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Daily Practice of 2013

Greetings! This has been a good week....productive on many fronts. As is so often the case, the creative process itself, when it is truly flowing, will allow the simple solutions to all manner of conundrums to bubble up to the surface. I've been wrestling for quite some time with the daily practice, as many of you know. Because I am someone who loves a routine and a rhythm to my day, I love having a daily practice that takes place in the studio. Before the holidays, I shifted gears in my daily practice and began a series of small 2x2" collages that were private....that is, they weren't meant for my Etsy shop and they weren't for sale anywhere. I've continued that practice into the new year, but the question of the MissouriBendMusings shop still hung in the air. I toyed with closing the shop, but I've met so many people through the shop and through the daily practice....so many people had written to me over the year to let me know that the practice had given them inspiration in some way. What more can any artist ask, except to touch people? I decided that, not only could I not let it go, I didn't want to let it go. So....how to incorporate a second daily practice that would end up in the marketplace, but one that would not require too much investment in time and energy in the "marketing" end. Somewhere in the process of working this week, I saw the practice as one of small works (these are 4"x4") in ink and wash. Another important aspect of the daily practice is that it should be one that allows for a sense of discovery, that the process of making becomes a vehicle for my own explorations. I think I have it....here is the first week of January....you can find them all at MissouriBendMusings.

January 1, 2013

January 2, 2013

January 3, 2013

January 4, 2013

January 5, 2013

January 6, 2013

January 7, 2013

I also found myself returning to book pages....one of my favorite themes and formats. This piece reminds me of a long lost diary page....

This is made on Japanese paper coated in beeswax....the pseudo handwriting is all hand embroidered.....fragments of earlier ink drawings are also hand stitched to the paper. Hard to capture the nuances og the warm, buttery yellow Japanese paper....it looks worn and aged...lost and found.

My weekend is Sunday and Monday, so tomorrow I go back to work at the Library....when I return here I'll tell you about the Absence series. Hope you have a great week ahead....cheers!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Looking Back, Looking Forward

The Missouri River looking over to the Nebraska blluffs.

Greetings to you on this first day of 2013! I have had a much needed vacation that included a fun-filled visit with family and am now refreshed and renewed. I am looking forward to many good things in the coming year and am curious to see just how the year will unfold. None of us knows what is really in store for us (a good thing, no doubt!) and the new year is a time of reflection....looking back to see where we've come from and looking ahead to see what paths might yet be worth pursuing. After a trying time during the latter part of the past year, I am now feeling lighter and back in balance. As I rethink my artistic practice and my Etsy shops, new ideas are surfacing and I am once again feeling back in the flow. I'll have some new work to share with you in the coming days. I do hope the first day of the year has brought you fresh hope and a sense of renewal! Hope you have a fine week....see you soon!